When promoting the “Destination Germany” in the Arabian Gulf market, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) local affiliate of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) for GCC countries functions to present the broad range of traditional and innovative possibilities that Germany offers to Arab visitors.
Speaking to TTN, Antje Roeding-Boudier, director marketing & sales office Gulf Countries – German National Tourist Office, Dubai, says: “We always aim at further strengthening the international reputation of our vibrant towns and cities, which are a mix of cultural richness and an eventful life. Nevertheless, also the diversified natural scenery and the abundance of greenery are particularly important when presenting in this region the main features of tourism to Germany.”
Visitors coming from the GCC region are particularly attracted by the excellent shopping and healthcare opportunities offered by the German cities and their specialised centres. The country offers high-class services and family-packages, highly appreciated by Arabian Gulf tourists. “We are also well aware that, along with the famous traditional attractions, lifestyle is another factor for enhancing the image of Germany as tourist destination,”Roeding-Boudier says.
The latest statistics, concerning overnight stays of international travellers to Germany have recorded a very positive year for German tourism in 2011. In 2011, Germany beat its record set in the previous year by notching up 63.8 million overnight stays by foreign visitors. Preliminary figures from the German Federal Statistical Office reveal that the volume of overnight stays by foreign visitors in 2011 was up by six per cent as compared to 2010.
“With regards to travellers coming from the Arabian Gulf, these countries are among the top 20 source markets of the German tourism industry, having recorded continuous growth over the past few years,” Roeding-Boudier adds.
According to preliminary figures, in the period spanning from January to November 2011, more than 0.9 million overnight stays were recorded for this group. Such figures indicate an increase of 3.1 per centas compared to the figures of 2010. Yet, GNTB expects this growth to continue in the coming years and achieve the record number of 2.3 million overnight stays from Gulf Arabs by 2020.”
Medical tourism was a key focus for GNTB in 2011. Roeding-Boudier adds that the number of purely health-motivated trips more than doubled between 2009 and 2010. “As GNTO in Dubai, we work for strengthening Germany’s position in the Arabian Gulf as a leading destination for health & fitness holidays and to promote Germany as a centre for high-quality and expert services in the areas of wellness, health and medical travel. The focus fell on renowned clinics and the wide range of treatments they offer in various specialist areas. One segment of our campaign was directed to visitors with an interest in health and wellbeing. We highlighted top-end wellness and spa hotels and provided useful information on 350 quality-certified spas and health resorts. One of the principal tools for promoting in the GCC region health related tourism to Germany is the Arabic version of the print brochure ‘Medical tourism – You’ll be well looked after in Germany’. The brochure aims at reaching both customers and key market players by presenting the outstanding level of care that international patients will receive in Germany but also by providing comprehensive information on the Germany as tourism destination.”
The campaign is expected to continue in 2012 when more content will be added to the extensive health tourism section of the www.germany.travel website, where Arab visitors can find extensive information in Arabic on Germany’s highly regarded clinics and doctors, with particular expertise in dealing with patients from abroad.